Low Power Workstation

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Low Power Workstations

Latest Hardware


4gb SATA flash module has been copied to fshellsrv /home/dertow/shuttle.iso using:

dd if=/dev/sda | ssh dertow@fshellsrv "dd of=/home/dertow/shuttle.iso"

then to copy this to new flash module:

boot workstation using usb "livecd"

ssh dertow@fshellsrv "dd if=/home/dertow/shuttle.iso" | dd of=/dev/sda

Using separate real disk as Virtualbox storage

sudo VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename ~/lpwinstall.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/sdb ^^ only works with non OSE version of VirtualBox


Ubuntu 9.04 -> LDAP users have no sound

I have run into a condition where LDAP users lost ability to access the sound card. System->Preferences->Sound showed "Not Connected" after the sound card.

To resolve this, a file named 40-permissions.rules was created and placed in the /etc/udev/rules.d directory.

40-permissions.rules contains:



Ubuntu 9.10 settings

NFS mount on boot: add nobootwait option to fstab entry

XFCE Settings

XFCE config directory is /etc/xdg

To make xfce-mixer settings static for all users, xfce4-mixer.xml was created by configuring mixer for one user. This file was then placed in the global config directory for XFCE in the following subdirectory: /etc/xdg/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml

Dual monitors: Get output from 'xrandr' command

xrandr --output <RIGHT> --right-of <LEFT>

Mixer Settings

Sound card: HDA Intel (ALSA Mixer) Playback Controls:

PCM: 100%
Front: 100%
Mic: 90%
Mic Boost: 60% <-- Without this, the other end of the call reports "quiet and crackly" sound


capture: 40% (with red dot)
digital: 40% (with red dot)


Headphone: checked


Input source: mic

Twinkle Audio Settings

Ringtone, Speaker, and Mic most likely need to be set to "ALSA:default : Default device"

libasound2 will need to be installed in order for software audio mixing to work in ALSA. (actually it just makes it so you don't have to set it up manually) File:Example.jpg

Power Consumption

-1w consumption when off (no peripherals) - connected directly to power outlet --0.56 power factor

-2w consumption when off (kb, mouse, monitor, ethernet connected) - connected directly to power outlet --0.41 power factor

While booting, max power usage reached was 32w for only a moment. Machine consumes 26w whether idle or running numerous applications. While installing packages, consumption was 27w.

Power Consumption With Monitor

-1w consumption when off (kb, mouse, monitor, ethernet connected) and connected to surge protector with switch off.

-3w consumption with power strip on but monitor and computer switched off.

-3w consumption with monitor and power strip on but computer switched off.

-When booting with monitor and computer through kill-a-watt meter, max usage showed 55w during boot. Idle at login screen they are consuming 49w with a power factor of 0.65

Global XFCE/XUbuntu Icons and User Settings

Basically I wanted a kiosk type setup, but xfce4's kiosk mode SUCKS.

To get global icons the easiest way was to install "Sabayon" which allows you to create profiles for groups of users, and then start up an x session within your x session which you can then customize and save. When the users in the created profile login, they will have the desktop settings created.

A new version of sabayon has been released that is not nearly as bug-filled as previous versions. You can find this here: https://edge.launchpad.net/~sbalneav/+archive/ppa

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